Athletes and workout enthusiasts are always looking for ways to easily boost their performance. When we really think about what is going to dictate our performance on any given day, the biggest regulator is what is going on in our own heads.
You could have all the strength, speed, and power in the world, be taking all kinds of proven performance enhancing substances, eating the cleanest diet imaginable, and having amazing sleep, but if mentally you are a mess your performance is going to be garbage.
If we really want to tap into our peak performance, the first thing we need to do is make sure our mental state is where it needs to be when it comes time to execute.
The first step is identifying what gets you in the right mental state to perform your best. The best way to do this is to look to past performances that went well. What did you do leading up to that performance?
Think short term and long term.
What did you eat before?
How was your sleep the night before?
What did you do for a warmup?
Did you listen to specific music?
Did you wear specific clothing?
What was your training like leading up to that performance?
Did you taper leading into the performance?
When did you incorporate deloads or rest periods in your training?
How was your diet in the months leading up to that performance?
Did you have a mantra or affirmation you said to yourself?
When you can identify what puts you in the best mental state, it allows your true athletic potential to shine through.
While you want to do everything you can to put yourself in the best mental state you can to perform your best, you also want to build up a bit of mental resilience. If you slept 8 hours before your best performance, it does not mean that your performance should tank if you only get 7 hours 50 minutes of sleep. The best way to build up this mental resilience is to practice it, put yourself in less than ideal scenarios occasionally and try to perform your best.
This might look like going out for a run in crappy weather, or doing an intense workout fasted first thing in the morning, or hitting the gym even though your kids kept you up last night.
Here is the catch, you do not perform this type of training all the time. If you do you are asking for trouble. However, trying to perform in less than ideal situations is going to build up the mental fortitude of knowing that you can still perform even when everything does not go as planned.
The athletes that consistently perform their best know how to harness their mental state to their advantage. If you are a mess mentally you have little hope of ever tapping into your full potential. Learning how to make your mental state work to your advantage could be the best performance enhancer you have in your training toolbox.
As part of my Ancestral Athlete coaching program I work with athletes like you to identify what exactly puts you in your ideal mental state in order to perform your best. I do this by incorporating ancestral health principles into your customized training and everyday life so you can become more in tune with your ideal self. Sign up for my newsletter to get actionable content delivered weekly to your inbox to dial in all components of your next peak performance